• Charli

Bon Voyage

As T prepares for her extraordinary trip round South America, I am reminded of my own Inter-rail experience across Europe at the same tender age of 21.

I remember the anticipation, fear, excitement and urgency of wanting it all to begin.

I can recall the long hot sweaty train journeys with over-crowded trains heaving through sun baked fields, rows of plane trees dividing farm land and providing a new perspective on the wide open French farming communities.

It seemed that no matter which way I turned there was an explosion of travellers, backpacking, sleeping rough or sharing over-crowded dormitories in converted gym halls. Some groups of travellers in packs of 3 or 5, others alone, as I was, joining forces for  a few days, swearing allegiance and swopping addresses – no Facebook or mobile phones in those days, promising to visit.

I studied my reflection on the way home and felt proud and a little amazed that I had survived all the horror stories that had been liberally thrown my way before I left. In reality I tanned so easily that I was often mistaken for being French or Italian, and so wasn’t a target for rucksack thieves.

T will fly to New York before heading on to Costa Rica where she has a luxury youth hostel with swimming pool booked before heading off across the continent.

I have planned my road trip in August with J and we will drive down the East Coast of England before arriving in London. I am so excited to be visiting a coast line that I really don’t know in the company of an amazing woman who I really do know!

L has so many trips lined up for the remainder of this year it is hard to keep track, but as we share an AirBnb email address, I sometimes know that her booking is confirmed before she does.

Closer to home and the team around our amazing young people prepare to move into the new provision and although barely a stone’s throw from the main school, will be a big new adventure with so much riding on getting it right. I will miss sharing an office with colleagues but am so looking forward to having an opportunity to decant properly and stand back a little and watch as we all unfurl folded wings and fill our new space with an exciting curriculum, opportunities and a shared vision of collegiality, community engagement and growth.

Bon Voyage –  a poem

Tickets? Check.

Itinerary? Check.

Passport? Check.

Transition planned,

families engaged

crates ordered.

We are on our way.

The adventure begins.

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